Day 1: Ha Noi
On your arrival, you are met local guide and driver who will take you around Ha Noi and Ha Long and Sapa for couple of days. If time is permitted, you will take an orientation tour of Ha Noi and take a cyclo ride (pedicab) around the ancient quarter of Ha Noi. It absolutely is a fascinating way to get the first look of this peaceful and beautiful city. Evening we enjoy the water puppet show, a unique northern Vietnamese art performance that we cannot be missed on our schedule for today. We will l have a chance to learn more about the rural life of Vietnamese peasants and national heroes via a series of history story which were beautifully demonstrated by the artists.
Day 2: Ha Noi – City Tour (B)
Start our day with a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, this is a very special place for all Vietnamese and also famous for foreigners around the world to see the whole complex, Uncle Ho’s house on stilt where he lived and worked from 1958 -1969, his fishing pond and his garden. Then we head to One Pillar Buddhist Pagoda built in 1049 by King Ly Thai Tong who ruled from 1028 to 1054. Further on our excursion, we visit to Van Mieu, Temple of Literature to dedicate to Confucius and his four best disciples. This was also the first national university of Vietnam built in 1076 within the temple to educate Vietnamese bureaucrats, nobles, royalty and other members of the elite. After visiting this wonderful place, we will l have lunch at local restaurant and refresh. Later in the day we visit to Ethnology Museum which is very rich culture collection of 54 ethnic groups living in Vietnam. The simple agriculture stools, fish traps, hand weaving cloths, crafts, festivals, folk arts, traditional houses, and lively activities of each tribe are all here for us to discover. Finish our day at History Museum, we not only see the exhibits from stone age, bronze ages and rehistoric era to prove that there were the ancient Vietnamese living in Ha Noi but also the modern artifacts to show how the Vietnamese has been strugling for independence, freedom, peace and love.
Day 3: Ha Noi – Ha Long (B,L,D)
A new exciting day waiting us to discover, we depart for Ha Long, a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site. Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islands and islets in all sides reflecting on turquoise water. The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments.
There are a lot of photo opportunities on our way to Ha Long as we drive through the rural area, street markets, paddy fields, vegetable farms, poultry farms and lotus farms. We take a rest stop Hong Ngoc shop after 2 hour drive for a coffee break then continue to Ha Long Bay. At midday we board the overnight junk for the cruise. A welcome drink is well prepared for us as we get on board then check in and enjoy a pleasant cruise on the bay. Seafood lunch is served on board while the junk is slowly going among the islands and islets. There are some activities for us to join in in this afternoon; visiting to the cave, swimming at Ti Top beach, climbing up the top of Ti Top Island for panoramic view of the bay, kayaking in late afternoon or joining squids finishing at night. The junk is anchored in a quiet bay for overnight. Dinner and overnight on board.
Day 4: Ha Long – Ha Noi – Sapa (B)
Morning just join the Tai Chi Class on sundeck for half an hour and then we will l have breakfast. We keep on our excursion and visit to Sung Sot cave, fantastic stalactites and stalagmites in all different sides with beautiful natural color. Return to our junk and check out. Enjoy a pleasant cruise back to the pier for disembarkation then drive back Ha Noi. On arrival Ha Noi, we have free time then take an overnight train Sapa.
Day 5: Sapa (B)
Early morning we get to Lao Cai railway station then transfer to Sapa town. Sapa is a hill station resort built during the French in 1880s and a lovely town located at 1600 m above the sea level. Sapa is very famous for hill tribe markets, mountainous and fabulous Hoang Lien Son mountain range in which Fan Si Pan, at a height of 3314 meters above the sea level is considered as the highest peak of Indochina peninsula. We enjoy our breakfast at hotel where we can leave our luggage and refresh before trekking to Ta Van and Lao Chay village. Late afternoon we drive back hotel then check in. Rest of the day is free at leisure.
Day 6: Sapa – Overnigh train (B)
Morning we trek to Cat Cat village for 2 hours then free at leisure. Late afternoon we drive to Loa Cai railway station for an overnight train to Ha Noi, en route, we visit to Ta Phin the home of the Red Dao people. We also have a chance to visit the border gate between Vietnam and China in Lao Cai City before getting on the train. Dinner is at local restaurant.
Day 7: Ha Noi – Hue (B)
Early morning we arrive Ha Noi railway Station then transfer to Noi Bai Airport for a short flight to Hue. Hue city, a lovely and romantic city located on the bank of Huong (perfume) River. Hue is the ancient capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945 and famous for the Citadel, Imperial City, Forbidden City and the royal tombs of the Nguyen Dynasty, the last feudal regime of Vietnam. On arrival you are met local guide and driver who take you to hotel then you are free at leisure before doing sightseeing tour in the afternoon.
We start our excursion by taking a boat trip on Huong River to Thien Mu Pagoda which was built in 17th century on the top of the hill overlooking the river and Truong Son mountain range. Then we drive to the Imperial and Forbidden City of Hue, most of the contraction sites of a heyday royal dynasty were destroyed during the turmoil of the war for many years but there is still the sense of grace and majestic of the rulers. Entertain Vietnamese royal court music show, a World Intangible Heritage of Humanity and then we drive to the royal tombs, the place were used during both life and dead of the Nguyen Rulers. A lovely traditional architecture royal tomb of King Tu Duc built in three years from 1864 -1867 is located outskirt of Hue among the fine forest and lakes and ponds meanwhile King Khai Dinh’s tomb is located on the hill step of Chau E mountain, the tomb is a blend of Western and Eastern architecture style and built in 1920. We finish our day with a visiting to Dong Ba market where can buy our souvenir, handcraft items, foods, many other things. Return to our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 8: Hue – Phong Nha (B)
A wonderful day to drive up north of Hue to Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, The World Natural Heritage site. It is noted for its cave and grotto systems as it is composed of 300 caves and grottos. A 2009 survey brought the total discovered length of the cave system to about 126 km with many areas still not well explored. The Son Doong Cave which was discovered in the 2009 survey by British and Vietnamese explorers, is considered the largest cave in the world. Even before this discovery, Phong Nha held several world cave records, including the longest underground river as well as the largest combined caverns and passageways. It is just one and half an hour away from our hotel in Hue, we get to Dong Ha town, Quang Tri province. This province was a hottest spot during the American ad Vietnam War as it was in the DMZ area, hundred thousand ton of bombs dropping here. The bloodiest Quang Tri ancient citadel battle field, La Vang Church and Ben Hai River are a lively evident for this terrible war. On our arrival Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, we enjoy our lunch at local restaurant then we take a boat trip to visit to Phong Nha Cave.
Late afternoon we drive back to Hue via Ho Chi Minh Road then free at leisure.
Day 9: Hue – Hoi An (B)
Today we will enjoy the most beautiful distance in Central part of Vietnam on our way to Hoi An, a world heritage site. It is only 140 km long but there are many things for us to see. Tam Giang Lagoon, Lang Co beach, Lang Co fishing village, Hai Van pass, Da Nang City, Marble Mountain and Hoi An. Hoi An, a lovely ancient seaport city located on the bank of Thu Bon River is not only famous for its architecture, temples, pagodas, ancient trading houses, tailor shops but also the hospitality and friendly people of this place. We will have a short stop to view Lang Co beach and this picturesque fishing village before we drive up to the top of Hai Van (Ocean and Cloud) Pass. It is really a fantastic panorama view of Nam O beach and Da Nang City, the third biggest city in Vietnam. The development of this city is incredible in term of its infrastructure and modernization. We also visit to Cham Museum which all artifacts were collected in My Son sanctuary and it is absolutely an amazing collection of art and culture of Champa of Kingdom. On our arrival Hoi An, we check in hotel then take a history walking tour to the ancient quarter of Hoi An and visit most of local tourist attractions such as: Thien Hau Temple, Japanese Covered Bridge, Tan Ky ancient house and then you are free at leisure.
Day 10: Hoi An – A day as farmer (B,L)
Today we actually take our hand on activity at the farm and try to be a farmer for a day at Tra Que vegetable village which provide all kinds of vegetable and Vietnamese mints to Hoi An market as well as to local restaurants. After having breakfast at hotel, we take a bike ride toward this beautiful village and start our activities here. First the host of the farm gives us a warm welcome to their home then we will change our clothes and put on the farms’ wearing and take stool to start our working day on the farm. We learn how to hoe the soil and make the furrowed field, how to seedling and watering from the host’s instruction cheerfully and happily. Just be a farm impersonator to experience the local life. Working on the farm with a lot of fun and laughing for an hour, we get back to the host family and enjoy a traditional food massage. Putting our tiring feet in a bucket of warm water associated with traditional herbs and then we just relax and enjoy the massage for 15 minutes. Next we enjoy lunch with the host and it is a truly Vietnamese cuisine, a typical food for daily life of all Vietnamese.
Return to our hotel and free at leisure.
Day 11: Hoi An – Nha Trang (B)
Today we check out our hotel then drive to Da Nang Airport for a short flight to Nha Trang City that is well known for its beaches and scuba diving and has developed into a popular destination for international tourists, attracting large numbers of independent travelers as well as more affluent travelers on the Southeast Asia circuit; it is already very popular with Vietnamese tourists, with Nha Trang Bay widely considered as among the World's most beautiful bays. Tourists are welcome to participate in the Sea Festival, held annually.
On arrival Nha Trang, we drive to our hotel for check in and prepare our swimming gear for a day out at the sea. Take a boat trip to Mun Island for snorkeling and swimming then we continue our trip to fishing village where we will have seafood lunch at local restaurant. After that we take a short walk through this fishing village to Tri Nguyen Aquarium. Then we walk to our boat and return the pier. Late afternoon we will visit to Ponaga Tower and Dam market.
Day 13: Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Morning just spend your time to walk along the beach or visit to XQ hand embroidery workshop or free at leisure.
Midday we check out then drive to Cam Ranh Airport to take a short flight to Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in Vietnam. Its former name was Saigon which was well known as the “Pearl of Far East” during the French colony and today Ho Chi Minh has become an official name of this dynamic, bustle and hustle city since 1976. There are so many interesting things to see in this city from very early in the morning until midnight. On our arrival, we take an orientation tour around the town and visit to some typical colonial buildings over hundreds of year; Notre Dame Cathedral, Post Office, the Opera House and City Hall.
Day 14: Ho Chi Minh City – Cu Chi (B)
Today we drive out to Cu Chi tunnel which is the most complicated underground system in Vietnam built in early 1948 and completed its 250km long around 1960. This is an amazing place where we are absolutely admired the way of the guerrillas’ living and fighting for their mission. The smokeless Hoang Cam kitchen where we will have a chance to taste the guerrilla’s food, the steamed cassava associated with peanut, salt and sugar is an incredible bunker to visit. Mr. Hoang Cam designed this special kitchen during the French–Vietnam War in Dien Bien Phu battle field and it became very popular as its smokeless chimney system in a later war. After finishing our visit to this site, we drive back Saigon for an afternoon city tour. The War Remnant Museum is a must for us to see and to learn more about the sorrow of this war that left unpleasant after-effect to the people and environment for years.
We finish our day with a visit to Thien Hau temple in China town and Binh Tay Market.
Return our hotel then free at leisure.
Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Can Tho (B,L)
Today we will enjoy the beautiful scenery in Mekong Delta, hundreds of canal and river system and the most productive farm in Vietnam. We just take 2 hour drive to My Tho City, which is located on the bank of Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in the world then take the boat cruise to Thai Son Island for visiting fruit farm, bee farm and local handicraft. We not only enjoy the fruits at the farm and honey tea but also entertain the traditional music show, “Don Ca Tai Tu” which has been selected as the World Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Just enjoy a peaceful moment on our rowing sampan under a shady water coconut palm on both sides of canal, a fantastic view of the river, a cheerful smile and the hospitality of the local people, we are awarded to have them all. Lunch is at local restaurant then just seat back and relax on our way to Can Tho City,
Day 16: Can Tho – Ho Chi Minh City (B)
Early morning we will l take a boat trip to Cai Rang floating market which is very interesting and popular in Mekong region. There are hundreds of trading boats anchoring on both sides of the river and these boats as the floating shops sell all different agriculture produce being hang on the bamboo pole placing at the front of each boat as the sell signal. The buyers who usually have a motor boat or sampan, a main means of transportation to go to the trading boats, buy these produce very early in the morning then take to the local market to sell them again. They are actually like the retailers. Some of them decide to be the vendors along the canal for all day to earn their living. This floating market is usually very busy early morning before sun rise and its function is as the whole sale market.
Just enjoy a beautiful buffet breakfast on board while we are cruising to Cai Rang floating market. We are not only the travelers to visit to this site but also the buyers to purchase extra fresh and tasty fruits for our breakfast in this morning. Return to our hotel then relax or just take walk along the river bank or stop at the coffee shop for a drink.
Midday we check out hotel then drive to Ho Chi Minh City. Rest of the day is free for your own activity.
Day 17: Ho Chi Minh City – Departure (B)
There is activity for today. Just pack up and relax until your departure flight. The guide and driver will pick you up then transfer you to Tan Son Nhat Airport.
All accommodation basing on double/twin room with daily breakfast
Private transportation as specified in itinerary
English speaking guide for day tour
All entrance fee for sightseeing
All boat trips as specified in itinerary
Meals as specified in itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Drinking water on coach
International air ticket to/from Vietnam
Visa fee to Vietnam
Domestic air tickets
Things are not indicated in itinerary